Design Versatility of Half-High Retaining Wall Blocks

MagnumStone Half-High Unit Construction Site

Choosing the right retaining wall materials for your upcoming project can have major cost and time-saving implications, ranging from the equipment you use to labor and installation. The MagnumStone half-high retaining wall blocks deliver advanced versatility for top-of-wall details, stylistic alternatives and they can even help keep your projects under budget.

With the creative vision that engineers, architects, contractors and landowners have today, a retaining wall system complete with different block sizes is extremely beneficial. Instead of making projects conform to similar designs, MagnumStone offers multi-faceted, flexible half-high precast block options to help customize the look and design of each retaining wall.

Let’s explore how you can gain an edge with the half-high retaining wall blocks:

Flexibility of Half-High Retaining Wall Blocks

Big things come in small packages, and that aptly describes the strength and performance of MagnumStone’s precast half-high units. The “half-high” term is due to their height being exactly half of MagnumStone’s standard big blocks.

They stand 1 ft. (0.3 m.) tall, while standard blocks are 2 ft. (0.61 m.) – although both come in MagnumStone’s signature 4 ft. (1.22 m.) lengths in order to build walls quickly and efficiently. These compact concrete blocks range in functionality with options available for half-high base units, regular half-high units and half-high top units.

The ability to add half-high MagnumStone blocks anywhere within a big block retaining wall design gives engineers more creative freedom to fit their project, regardless of how simple or complex the drawings may be. Capable of fitting into tight spaces with ease, half-high blocks have become a valuable addition to MagnumStone’s proven product line.

Reduce Excessive Square Footage Costs

Planners and engineers are often forced to use block sizes that are too large for their intended purpose, resulting in unnecessary expenses incurred by paying for larger blocks than a design requires. This often presents a headache for contractors who must cut and alter the materials, too.

MagnumStone’s retaining wall units were designed by Vern Dueck, a contractor of 25 years, who knew the market needed a simpler, more efficient big block system to rely on.

Half-high retaining wall blocks facings by MagnumStone cover a total of 4 sq. ft. (0.37 sq. m) at a time to complement standard MagnumStone blocks, which each cover 8 sq. ft. (0.74 sq. m.). The half-high units allow for comprehensive modifications that better suit each specific project. If a half-high block is a better fit for your project, why pay for full standard blocks?

Build Walls with More Top-of-Wall Detail Options

Building hillside retaining walls is now more common than ever, with less and less flat land available for development. Walls built on sloped residential and commercial land can have significant base elevation changes, perfect for step-down features. Step-downs are an excellent way to deliver polished top-of-wall details, prevent abrupt drop-offs from course to course and achieve captivating designs.

With their notable height adjustment, half-high units effectively introduce subtle finishing touches through gradual, tapered appearances. Combined with MagnumStone’s ruggedly textured aesthetics, the half-high units can revamp retaining walls with more natural looks.

Creative Designs & Half-High Block Applications

While MagnumStone excels at infrastructure development applications, commercial and residential projects are well within the wheelhouse of this precast system. As always, engineers’ and landowners’ vision on how to use MagnumStone blocks never ceases to amaze us.

The half-high units have been used for many unconventional applications. In fact, MagnumStone’s hollow core half-high blocks provide longer-lasting solutions for projects typically reserved for smaller retaining wall systems. A few examples include:

  • Raised Gardens & Plantable Walls – MagnumStone’s half-high top units stand out thanks to their multi-use purposes, like planting shrubs and flowers inside the hollow core blocks. This adds more greenery to your retaining wall and minimizes the environmental impacts of heat island effect.
  • Driveway Retaining Walls – Does your sloped driveway or parking area need leveling? Half-high blocks provide the size and strength to help build your ideal parking space and support active loads. With varying unit heights, landowners can choose which MagnumStone block best fits their property.
  • Raised Paver PatiosHalf-high retaining wall blocks also make great perimeters for raised backyard patios, covering 4 ft. (1.22 m.) lengths with a single unit. Since the top units have no back lip, paver stones can easily lay flat behind the blocks for a simple, everlasting patio with optimal drainage.

To learn more about designing with MagnumStone’s big block retaining wall system and half-high units, contact your local supplier today or check out our MagnumStone Retaining Wall Design & Analysis Software here.

Photos: Masters Concrete Products, York Building Products, Cirtex, SLN Contracting and Lee Building Products.